Breakdown on NFC technology

Here is all you need to know about NFC technologies, so you can become a pro on understanding contactless payments & and be a highly skilled Vibrant user.

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Advancements made within the POS (Point Of Sale) industry are constant. But it can get so complex that we don’t know how these technologies work, even though we might use them daily. So here is a simplified, complete NFC guide to transforming you into a POS master.

What is NFC? 

NFC stands for “Near Field Communication” Which is a wireless technology that allows simple & secure communication between different devices. There are different variations on how this communication between devices is used, but good examples are Bluetooth, where you can share music from your device to a speaker, or even Chromecast, where you stream content from your phone directly to a television.

How does it work?

Here is where NFC gets interesting. The transfer of information from one device to another happens through radio waves, more specifically, RFID Which is short for “radio-frequency identification”  (too many acronyms, right?) that belongs to a technology group called Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC). 

Due to the usage of RFID, the transfer and communication of information happen differently than other wireless technologies. The name speaks for itself, there must be a near communication between devices, and it can be a range of 0-4 centimeters distance between the sender & receiver of the information.

In the case of contactless payments, cards now have an NFC chip inserted in them & so does the Point of sale receiving the transactions which allow these devices to communicate, however, cards are only programmed to send information and the POS is both able to read & receive the data from cards.  

Nowadays, phones also have an NFC chip inserted into them allowing them to perform as cards. This makes contactless payments such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Android Pay possible. Once you register your card information onto your e-wallet, POS with NFC capacity will be able to read the data from your card and process the payments. 

Vibrant & NFC

As I have previously mentioned, Points of sale are programmed to read the information from cards and, until now, NFC phones have only been programmed to share information. Vibrant app switches the role of smartphones, also allowing devices to not only make transactions but also receive them. Changing the way payments are made. 

Due to the location of the NFC on smartphones (except for iPhone) Now, there is no reason to use POS in the hardware version, facilitating transactions, both for merchants & customers.

If you would like to read the reason why the iPhone does not yet adopt the possibility of allowing their devices to receive payments read our article here.  

Are contactless transactions safe? 

Heck yes! The transaction is made in a matter of seconds and all transferred information passed from one device to another is encrypted, making contactless payments highly secure. Just like inserted card-to-machine transactions, the contactless tap-in also generates a unique token and code for each payment which is created by the bank with a complex algorithm.
Contactless payments are much safer than magnetic stripes, for example, it can occur that when you swipe your card, some machines (usually in places such as ATMs, gas stations, or less legitimate shops) have inserted a clip-on device, which once you press your pin, this skimming POS reads and collects your information, leaving customers extremely vulnerable to fraudulence & cloning.

How to know if my phone can accept payments. 

Since 2018, most phone manufacturers have adapted their smartphones to be compatible with NFC technology. As NFC in mobiles is still going through constant improvements, we can guarantee at least 60% of success on transactions, to have a higher success rate, Vibrant recommends our users to download our app through our sponsored devices, not only due to the fast response to payments but also to the affordability range available.

A quick way to know if your smartphone is already compatible with this technology is: 

1 - Open your settings 

2 - In the search tab type “NFC” 

3 - Tap & turn on NFC 

If you can’t find NFC, your phone is not compatible.

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